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    Updated on Mar 18, 2019. Posted on Mar 10, 2019

    24 Under-$50 Living Room Upgrades That Are Actually Easy

    Instant improvements you can do on the cheap!

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    1. Freshen up your sofa in a single step: stuff those throw pillows you're not in love with anymore into a brand new set of covers.

    amazon.com

    Get this set of four 18"x18" covers — which you can def use for 20"x20" pillows for an overstuffed look — on Amazon for $17.99 (10 styles available). Also check out sets of two solid-color corduroy covers for $12.88 each (18 colors).

    2. And dramatically transform a sofa or armchair that's seen better days with the help of an inexpensive slipcover.

    Walmart

    To make sure it fits correctly, be sure to measure your sofa against the dimensions of the covers; one reviewer notes that the loveseat cover fit their smallish full-size couch perfectly.

    Promising review: "I bought these for my leather sectional that was looking really ugly. I have to say, it's like a whole new couch. I honestly can't believe how good it looks. It's so soft and is holding up well to my 110-pound dog, two cats and three small children. I've had the covers on for two months now and I believe these will last a while." —RaeRae

    Get one from Walmart for $31.54+ (sofa size available in two colors, loveseat and recliner sizes available in three).

    3. Disguise the cords hanging from your wall-mounted TV with an inexpensive shower curtain rod.

    freshcrush.com

    From Fresh Crush.

    Get a white shower curtain rod on Amazon for $15.73.

    4. Free up space for more decorative uses by consolidating your DVD collection in a disc keeper: it'll keep your movie collection perfectly protected but take up just 2.8 inches on your shelf.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    And keep everything in alphabetical order, if you so choose. Also works for CDs of course, if you still keep them around and listen to 'em.

    Promising review: "I mean, this thing is HUGE! We got rid of all the dvd cases (OMG THAT WAS SOOOOO HARD! We agonized over it, but we're adults. We don't NEED the cases with the pictures and the inserts and, you know, we need to maximize space. We fell into a bit of a depression after throwing all those cases in the recycle bin. I made two batches of chocolate chip cookies to get us through. We're doing better now, thanks for asking.) and keep our DVDs in this thing. It really does save space. :)" —T&B

    Get it from Amazon, the 128-capacity for $14 or the 400-capacity for $24.99.

    5. Experiment with a few different furniture layouts to make the entire space feel refreshed without having to spend a single dime.

    midwestliving.com

    For tips on how to arrange furniture, check out Midwest Living and Better Homes & Gardens. To play around with different arrangements in a to-scale diagram of your living room, use Pottery Barn's room planning tool.

    6. Erase old water stains and scratches from your antique coffee and side tables so they look nearly brand-new again with the help of a miracle wood finish restorer.

    amazon.com

    While restoring a finish isn't quite the same as completely refinishing a piece, it take much less time and can still make furniture (and floors, front doors, and kitchen cabinets) look magically new again.

    Promising review: "Very easy to get results. I applied to eight dining room chairs which had scrapes, scuffs and white paint marks. An amazing transformation so quickly. I finished eight chairs in 90 minutes without rushing. I bought two pints but only one was necessary. I used a cotton cloth for most of the application but also used 0000 steel wool for the scrapes and paint removal." —Amazon Customer

    Get it on Amazon for $9.98 (nine wood finish colors available); many reviewers follow up with the same brand's wood polish and conditioner, which you can get for $8.48 on Amazon.

    7. Or make smaller scuffed and scratched wood and veneer look brand new again — just color over the damage with wood markers.

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "This product worked surprisingly well! If you’re doing a small area, even if the whole thing isn't scuffed, I recommend marking up the entire thing so you don’t have ink lines. As you can see in the photo, the foot of my couch isn’t that big so I colored the entire thing and it looks great. On larger areas like chair legs I found the trick is to marker in the scuffs and then quickly run a soft cloth over the marker so you blend in the ink and avoid solid lines. Works like a charm!" —Ryan E

    Get a set of six markers and six wax sticks (in different wood tones) plus a sharpener on Amazon for $9.99 (wondering how well they work on veneer? Check out this review).

    8. Toss an ultra soft faux-fur throw over basically any piece of furniture to make it an inviting spot to curl up and read.

    amazon.com

    Get one on Amazon for $24.99+ (8 colors).

    9. To make things even cozier, light a candle that'll make your entire living room smell like your favorite nook at the library.

    Homesick Candles

    Get one from Homesick Candles for $29.95.

    10. Swap out your broken, boring, or otherwise just-blah switch plates for vintage-style gold ones for a surprisingly effective transformation that takes just five minutes.

    amazon.com

    Just unscrew the old, and screw on the new!

    Promising review: "Feels quality, not flimsy. Installed in a bathroom and adds a nice classy vintage touch to my switch. The metal is not highly reflective, closer to a brushed look. Great for disguising fingerprints and blends in with other non-reflective metal hardware. When the light switch is frequently the first thing someone looks at and reaches for in a room, having a quality cover like this gets noticed and enhances a room very easily." —Tom Generic Dude

    Get one on Amazon: a three-pack of the single switch plates for $13.58, a double switch plate for $6.99, and an outlet cover for $4.40 (also available in white, burnished bronze with copper highlights, and satin nickel).

    11. Rescue your carpet, rugs, and upholstery from the stains you thought were impossible to remove: use a spray cleaner basically guaranteed to make your jaw drop the moment you see the "after."

    amazon.com

    Promising review: "So my dog got into my makeup bag and got ahold of some liquid lipstick and needless to say I flipped out to see my carpets neon orange. Holy moly! WOW did this stuff work! My mother recommended it to me after using it on minor stains at her house and so glad I got it. Definitely worth the money and it really does disappear right before your eyes like the bottle says!" —jen

    Get a 32-oz bottle on Amazon for $11.19.

    12. Cover a blank stretch of wall with an oversized wood-framed favorite poster (or print, tea towel, or scarf) that you can switch out with the seasons — or just your daily mood.

    amazon.com

    The frame's made with four magnetic slats that grab on to the top and bottom of your poster, no holes required!

    Get it from Amazon: the frame for $10.99+ (available in 8, 11, 15, and 19 inches; the last one is about $22) and the print for $8.19.

    13. Pull off a Pinterest-worthy before-and-after by covering your beat up or boring coffee table with marble-look contact paper.

    poppytalk.com

    Get directions for a similar project on Poppytalk and check out Bless 'Er House for even more tips.

    Promising review: "I used this marble contact paper as part of a makeover on two Ikea dressers. I was hopeful yet skeptical, so I was thrilled at the quality and the results! It looks amazingly real! And everyone who's seen it has thought that it was real. For the price, it's seriously awesome for small projects." —Blair T.

    Get a roll of marble-look contact paper on Amazon for $7.53.

    14. Then style your new coffee table according to the 1-3-5 rule: group your decorative objects in ones, threes, or fives.

    schoolofdecorating.com

    Above, the tray unites all the little objects into a single visual element, and the stack of books + accessory also work as a single piece. So, you have three main items on this table that then, within themselves (mostly) follow the rule of threes. Read more about it on The School of Decorating.

    15. Freshen up a shelf or a corner near a window with a rubber tree or another plant.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    This is actually an air-purifying plant, and it has the studies to prove it. For more options, just head to your local nursery.

    Promising review: "I could not be more impressed! It was packaged in a tall box and cushioned by foam peanuts. Although some leaves were bent, the plant opened itself up nicely after some time. The plant pot was wrapped in plastic and the soil was moist. You can tell that the nursery took a lot of care to ensure the plant would not only make it through its journey but thrive once getting to its destination. This rubber tree arrived in stunning condition and is a terrific addition to my collection!" —Tisoy

    Get it on Amazon for $16.

    16. ~Accentuate~ just one wall with a peel-and-stick wallpaper you can always easily remove if you get tired of it or have to move out.

    Target

    It does say that it works best on eggshell, satin, or semi-gloss painted walls, not so much with low-sheen flat or matte paints, unfortunately. Check out a gorgeous IRL accent wall that used this exact product on Reddit.

    Promising review: "This wallpaper is amazingly beautiful! Not too hard to put up and the best part is with this pattern you don't have to bother trying to line it up — it is so busy and random no one will notice. It has been up for 1.5 years and I have not had any issues with peeling. I highly recommend it!" —lovetarget

    Get a roll from Target for $29.99 (covers 27.5 square feet).

    17. Or enlist a different temporary wallpaper to add a playful splash of bright color to your bookshelves or built-ins.

    erinspain.com

    Get the tutorial from Erin Spain (who also has an straightforward way to make any wallpaper removable). And get a similar damask pattern in pink from Walmart for $25 (20.5"x18').

    18. Create the gallery wall of your dreams with very little effort thanks to a ready-to-hang frame set — it even comes with three different full-size templates to help you put the nails in precisely the right places.

    amazon.com

    All you do is hang the template, add the nails, pull down the template, then hang your framed photos! They're also all light enough to hang with Command Picture Hanging Strips ($8.19+), if you prefer.

    Promising review: "I love this set! It was delivered quickly, all of the frames and glass came in perfect condition. My favorite part of the entire thing was the guide it came with. After putting the pictures in the frames, I hung the guide, made sure it was level and drilled the holes right into the paper. Everything came out level, the frames and pictures look great. Definitely happy with this purchase." —Cristina C Sanchez

    Get them on Amazon for $44.72 (also available with black frames for $44.51).

    19. Or finally put up all the pieces you've been collecting for a super personalized gallery wall: use newspaper or paper bags to create your own templates for the perfect arrangement...

    ...then hang everything with these specialty hooks, so you don't worry one bit about finding studs for the heaviest pieces.

    youtube.com

    They can hold up to 150 pounds, letting you hang the heavy pieces wherever *looks* best, not just where your walls can support 'em. Popular Mechanics put them to the test, and they actually do work! (Lots of reviewers swear by 'em, too).

    Promising review: "Having spent countless hours over the years locating studs, drilling, shopping for various doo-hickies, and so on, I'm ABSOLUTELY OVERJOYED to discover these little miracle workers! I simply followed the Hercules Hook instructions, slipped one into the wall above my fireplace in about 30 seconds, and hung a huge, 25-pound wrought iron clock that's more than four feet in diameter. I hung it on a single hook. This is the most wonderful hanging technology I've yet encountered. No fuss, no drills, no broken drill bits, no searching for studs, no trips to Home Depot, no problem." —Sanity in SF

    Get a pack of ten on Amazon for $8.90.

    For more ideas, check out Here's How To Hang Anything And Everything On Your Walls.

    20. No matter how and where you hang your art and photos, follow this rule so you can actually see the art you love so much.

    stylebyemilyhenderson.com

    The center of the piece — or the centerline of your your gallery wall — should be 57 inches from the floor. That keeps the art just about at eye level, so you can see it better! Read more about why, and see examples, on Style By Emily Henderson and get a step-by-step for how to actually do it on Apartment Therapy.

    21. Search your local hardware store for cheap carpet-remnants-turned-rugs, then use cardboard templates and paint markers to create your own statement design.

    mountainmodernlife.com

    Unfortunately you can't get remnants online, it all depends on what your local store has in stock.

    Get the tutorial from Mountain Modern Life (who also have painted a rug, if you want something with more color). And get a pack of three paint markers on Amazon for $8.48.

    22. Coax a little extra light into a dark corner or create a focal point on your mantel with a gorgeous wall mirror that fits your decorating style.

    Home Depot, Target

    Get the nautical mirror from Home Depot for $33.32, the round minimalist/mid-mod mirror from Target for $49.99, and the transitional/traditional star mirror from Target for $35.99 (originally $39.99).

    23. Stash your extra pillows, throws, kid's toys, game controllers, and other miscellaneous (but essential!) clutter in a storage ottoman that doubles as a coffee table AND extra seating in a pinch.

    Walmart

    Promising reviews: "I needed storage with a hinged lid to prevent my daughter from closing the lid on her fingers — this is a small perfect size for her toy box! Also you can sit on it with no problem — I'm 230lbs and it holds me with no issues!" —DawntheBargainHunter

    "I needed an ottoman long enough to go in front of my long love seat that would hold blankets and pillows for afternoon nappers. This is perfect....I love that it will stay open while you are picking out a blanket and pillow, but that it isn't so large to be intrusive. I DO recommend this!" —GranJann

    Get it from Walmart for $29.99 (three colors).

    24. Banish the sunlight that insists on intruding on your latest Netflix binge or movie marathon with a set of blackout curtains.

    amazon.com

    They'll also help to insulate your home from the cold in the winter and heat in the summer! They come with Velcro tie-backs, because of course you won't want to keep them closed ALL the time.

    Promising review: "These are FANTASTIC! I have a sunroom which is basically all glass and gets VERY cold in the winter. I needed something to keep the room warmer and these fit the bill beautifully. They are sturdy and keep the room quite warm. Plus, they also block out all of the light coming in. When closed it’s like midnight!!" —Mark S

    Get two panels from Amazon for $19.31+ (nine colors; six sizes).

    Now just relax on your couch and enjoy your own little before and after!

    TV Land / giphy.com

    Looking for more stuff to help make your house a home? Check out the best places to buy inexpensive furniture online, the best places to buy couches online, cute home decor you’ll wish you knew about sooner, or check out all of our home content for even more great ideas.

    Shopping for something specific? Check out BuzzFeed Reviews to find the best things for every budget!

    BuzzFeed

    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

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